Monday, July 6, 2009

Copenhagen Denmark

This first photo is remarkable because the woman in purple, Evlyn, is ninety seven years old. There weren't many that could out dance her. A few times after dinner she would ask someone where they were going after dinner. I would reply, "to bed!", but she was ready to dance. Her daughter, Doris, in the blue is seventy eight. She sure has her Mother's genes, she doesn't look near that age. The man in the middle is Clarke Watkins who was also an instructor.

Alan and Kay, our hosts and instructors on the cruise AND my daughter's new in laws.

Following is our whole dance group.I sure do miss these people. How enjoyable it was getting to know them all.

Wed, June 24, 2009

Land of Hans Christian Anderson, The Little Mermaid, and Tivoli Gardens.

Denmark is located on two islands connected by two bridges.

One of the major highlights in Copenhagen is The Little Mermaid (Den Lille Havfrue), a world famous bronze sculpture that reclines on a rock on the shore. She has come to represents Denmark to many. The story goes that she is a sea king’s half-human and half-fish daughter, who must wait on her rock for 300 years before she can enter the world of humans. She’s been sitting there since 1913 so she has a while to go. In the meantime, she’s had her head cut off (this became a murder case in Denmark that was solved, head found and reattached), and lost an arm in the same way with the same results and it was reattached. Someone painted a bra on her once and on one occasion she was stolen from her perch altogether (with the use of dynamite). She had to have a lot of plastic surgery when they rescued her from the sea. The little mermaid has been through so much that Denmark decided to send her on a vacation. We were fortunate to be there when we were and see her in person because she will soon be in China so they can enjoy her beauty before her return to her homeland in a couple of years.

The most common name for all Denmark kings has been Christian and Frederick. Queen Margarette has been the Queen now since 72 but her son is the crown prince, Frederick, and he will become the next king. The Danish monarchy is the oldest unbroken one. Unbroken for 1,000 years. The official residence of the Royal Family is Amalienborg Palace. The Palace is actually four separate palaces in the heart of the city; recently the royal apartments were open to the public.

The Museum of Danish Resistance is dedicated to the resistance in 40-45 against German occupation and the Danish commitment to the Danish people to help save many Jews from becoming victims of the Holocaust.

In a couple of downtown buildings that have so many windows, they refer to the building as Blue Eyes or Green Eyes, whatever color is reflected in the windows. I’ll have to look at our buildings in Tampa and see what color eyes our glass buildings have. I know we have one old blue eyes.

There are so many fairy tales and Gods and Goddess references in Copenhagen. It gives the whole area a magical quality when you hear all the tales and the Gods attached to each monument, building, or ship.

The Kastellet military fortress is 300 years old and covers approximately 50 acres. One of its centerpieces is the Gefion Fountain, which shows a goddess commandeering four oxen. The story goes that the goddess was offered more land for Denmark by a God. She could have as much land for her country as she could plow in one night. She turned her four huge sons into oxen and began to plow land large enough to become Denmark.

It’s very expensive to live in Copenhagen. When asked the cost of condos we passed, we were told they begin at two million dollars.

We saw where Hans Christian Anderson lived and wrote.

All education in Denmark is free, even college.

We went to Tivoli Park and Gardens. This is the park that inspired Walt Disney to build Disneyland and World. It’s a very small garden and amusement park, but I can see why someone would think to build bigger and better. The laughter of children and excited voices were throughout the park. We had a very small hamburger there that cost $8.00. One fashion statement was capri’s for the men. They looked strange at first but then I thought they made perfect sense and looked good, especially next to some of the shorts we saw worn there. The people were striking. Blonde, blue-eyed children and parents were predominant. So many of the young men and boys gelled their hair for that tussled look. Copenhagen was another city where I saw very few overweight people unless they were tourist.

We noticed was more hustle and bustle of the city in Copenhagen than any other Scandinavian city we were in. Almost 40% of the transportation used in Copenhagen is bikes. This makes so much sense here, too, especially for places like NYC and big towns; I wonder why we don’t do that more.

When students graduate from high school they wear a white cap with a cranberry colored band and they wear them with pride through the summer. We saw so many of them and I think it’s a great idea.

Licorice was sold everywhere in so many forms. They had salted licorice everywhere which I didn’t like but I liked every other kind. There were kiosks set up selling nothing but licorice.

1 comment:

Mary said...

You mentioned the bikes and wondered why cities here didn't use them more. My thoughts: people travel greater distances, weather in some areas is not conducive to biking much of the year. And I just think that Americans have their love affair with autos and would have a hard time getting beyond that.